The Burden of Depression: Beauty in the Browns

By DeVine Interventions | November 3, 2021

One Thanksgiving when I was a kid, my dad wanted to go for a walk through a vacant mile of scrub oak near my grandma’s house in Alamosa, Colorado. It was pretty cold outside, so my sister and I dutifully pulled on sweaters and hats and followed him into the winter air.

I don’t think I’d ever seen a landscape look quite so scrubby and lifeless. We trudged through thin brush under skeletal elms and cottonwoods. We poked through trash and explored the rusted ruins of an old construction project. And then my dad stopped and looked around.

When God’s Wisdom Does Not Make Sense

By DeVine Interventions | October 27, 2021

You confess sound doctrine and know your Bible reasonably well. However, when reality confronts beliefs, there is a crisis. You want to be sure that God is wise, but everything around you seems to indicate the opposite. You are hesitant to admit it, but sometimes God’s wisdom does not make any sense to you. What is the point of a broken friendship in God’s plan? Or why would God allow a prodigal son? Does any good come from a dry marriage relationship? What about a severe medical diagnosis or financial bankruptcy? It does not make any sense, and you cannot see where your pointless situation leads you to a better place.

Never Alone… an Audience of One: Practicing God’s Presence and Power

By DeVine Interventions | October 20, 2021

An Epidemic of Social Isolation and Loneliness
Isolation and loneliness are harmful to your health. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reports that 20% of Americans feel socially isolated and lonely and that the resulting health damage is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day (HRSA, 2019). This research was done before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one can surmise that the percentage of socially isolated and lonely people will increase over the remainder of 2020.

Ministry, Personal Limits, and Saying “No”

By DeVine Interventions | October 13, 2021

How do you get off the phone when the other person speaks without a pause and you have work that needs to get done? Have you ever heard yourself saying “yes” and are already kicking yourself for saying it?

What are wise boundaries?  Some version of this is the most common question I receive as a CCEF instructor. Students take counseling courses because they love people and want to care for them even better. Most of them, however, are already neck-deep in ministry; during a course they deepen some of those relationships and add a few more.

Warning Signs that Your Spouse Has Mental Health Issues

By DeVine Interventions | October 6, 2021

Malik noticed that his wife, Jade, was being strangely antagonistic to their children, and he wondered why her hands were always red and dry. After discussing the issue with his doctor, Malik thought about how often Jade was now washing her hands. She was treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, as well as self‐esteem and identity issues. 

It wasn’t typical for Angela’s husband to act irritable, angry and critical with their children, so Angela pushed him to see a doctor. After her husband finally agreed to go, he admitted to having an opioid pain pill addiction. 

Five Indicators of a Healthy and Transforming Soul Care Ministry

By DeVine Interventions | September 29, 2021

You may be more familiar with the phrase “biblical counseling” than “soul care.” Soul care, as I refer to it, includes both preventative biblical care and more formal biblical counsel. When I think about the simplest definition of biblical counseling, I often define it as “speaking the truth in love with growing compassion and skill.” The philosophy of biblical soul care emphasizes that every believer can be a wise counselor. In fact, I would argue that we all counsel ourselves daily. We also counsel others in our circle of influence. The question is not if we counsel; it is how we counsel. Is our self-talk biblical? Is our advice to our friends biblical (Prov. 27:9)?

5 Truths for True Love in Your Marriage

By DeVine Interventions | September 22, 2021

We all carry relational wounds. So we go through life with a skewed definition of love. Our actions are often a far cry from true love. The truth is, we may be trying to “love” the other in an attempt to satisfy our “need” for the other. 

When we act out of enmeshment and codependency, we may think we are experiencing love, but it’s a shallow substitute for the love God longs for us to experience and enjoy. True love, on the other hand, moves us from a place of saying, “I want to do something for you because it meets my needs” to “I want to do something for you because I love you.”

How Can I Handle School Anxiety?

By DeVine Interventions | September 15, 2021

My first thought is: please don’t quit. Every teacher I have spoken with has felt unprecedented burdens during this pandemic season. New, glitchy technology. Students whose attention wavers. No dynamic, live student participation. More work, which doesn’t seem to have much fruitful effect.

And instrumental music teachers experience all this more intensely. You tend to have more hands-on involvement in your classroom, and that has been gutted. Everything you try will fall short of your expectations.

Here are a few thoughts about God’s words to you.

Fathers Matter: The Importance of a Father

By DeVine Interventions | September 8, 2021

Have you ever wondered, “Do fathers matter? What differences do I make in my home as a dad?” Let’s begin with the simple answer — the importance of a father is tremendous! You make countless differences in your home and family. However, how much impact you decide to make as a dad is entirely up to you!  

When was the last time you genuinely or playfully smiled at your children? When was the last time you gave your kids affirmation, correction, and reassurance? If you haven’t recently, do it now and see what happens. What did you notice? Did your child light up or smile back? Did your child respond and shift behaviors?

Helping a Friend in Need

By DeVine Interventions | September 1, 2021

In over thirty years of counseling, I have come to believe that godly friends are invaluable in providing wise care. That’s why I often ask counselees to invite a friend into the process. More importantly, the Bible is clear that one of the sweetest things about friendship is the counsel of someone who knows us and cares for us well (Prov. 27:9). But perhaps you feel intimidated or inadequate to help counsel your friends. Most of us have no professional training, no degrees in soul care. Maybe you aren’t even feeling all that put together and wonder what business you have giving anyone counsel?

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